China is still reclaiming land in the South China Sea, a defense analyst said, a month after Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his country’s island reclamation program was completed.
Satellite photos taken in early September show dredgers at work on Subi Reef and Mischief Reef, two of China’s eight outposts in the Spratly islands, according to Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. The images were published by an initiative of CSIS.
Indications that China is still reclaiming land may complicate President Xi Jinping’s first state visit to the U.S. this month. The U.S. and China face a growing rivalry in the South China Sea, a $5 trillion a year shipping route that the U.S. has patrolled largely unchallenged since World War II. China has been building islands to assert its claim to more than four-fifths of the sea, ratcheting up tensions with the U.S. and causing friction with other claimants, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam.
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